Inflation seems to have peaked, here’s why
There are signs the worst of inflation might be in the past, including gas prices which are expected to drop in the city this weekend.
Did something I hadn’t done in a long time last night, and went to a movie by myself. Went to see Thief at the Mayfair Theatre. I hadn’t made time to go to the Mayfair in a very long time, and I’m glad I went back. Popcorn was as good as I remembered, and the movie was great. Highly recommend!
Tons of newsletter to do, so let’s get to it.
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Friday: 30 🌡️ 18 | ☀
Saturday: 30 🌡️ 19 | ☀
Sunday: 28 🌡️ 19 | ⛅
Monday: 27 🌡️ 16 | ⛅
Gas prices to drop, the worst inflation may be over
What’s happened: Gas prices across the city are dropping this weekend. It’s expected the average price will drop to 174.9 cents per litre, one expert told CTV. It would be the lowest level since mid-April, and well below the 215.9 cents per litre peak of mid-June.
A sign of optimism: Because of lessening demand for gas throughout the U.S., prices are dropping. That’s good news. High gas prices have been a major contributor to the record inflation we’ve been seeing lately, accounting for half of the overall inflation rate. A CBC analysis suggests this is one of several signs the inflation peak may have passed.
The rate food prices have been rising has plateaued at an annual pace of 8.8 percent for two months in a row. The price of meat has fallen and so have fruit and vegetable prices. An expert speaking to CBC said the pace of price rises was going to slow down by the end of the year.
The price of major commodities, including corn, wheat, fertilizer, lumber, copper, and aluminum have all dropped by double-digit percentages from their spring high.
The bottom line: We aren’t out of the woods yet, and prices are still high and rising, but these are positive signs the worst of the inflation crisis may be behind us.
Ottawa by the numbers
- $1 million: The amount of a donation by Brigil Construction president Gilles Desjardins to the Montfort Hospital Foundation and Orléans Health Hub. [OBJ]
- 181 km/h: The speed police caught a driver doing on March Road near Carling (the speed limit is 80 km/h). [CTV]
- 3: The number of people who have died of COVID in Ottawa since last Friday. [CTV]
Record high COVID wastewater
What happened: It’s expected the COVID signal in the city’s wastewater could hit levels as high as the spring Omicron wave. One of the researchers told CBC levels were in the “red zone.” The signal is already high, and hasn’t slowed down, and their projections show it will still rise.
Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health, said she is very concerned about the current wave.
- “We are noting very high levels of COVID-19 in our wastewater and week after week this has been increasing. Our test percent positivity is also very high and increasing and our COVID-19 hospitalizations and confirmed outbreaks are both increasing as well,” Etches said in a statement.
She recommends wearing a mask indoors, as well in large outdoor crowds. She said businesses can “lead by example” by requiring masks in their stores, and maintaining physical distancing.
Kids’ jabs start next week: The province announced yesterday parents will be able to book COVID vaccines for their kids aged from six months to five years old. Appointments will open up at 8 am next Thursday through the provincial portal. Immunocompromised children from 12 to 17 years old will also be eligible to get an appointment for their fifth dose.
- Dig deeper: ArriveCan app glitch tells vaccinated eastern Ontario travellers to quarantine
Patios to visit this weekend
Craving a new patio to check out? Here are a few recommendations from our food editor Ralf.
- Dominion City - The brewers at Dominion City seem to be a playful bunch, forever putting out new styles and combinations of beer, which is why it’s not a bad idea to check out their patio to see what’s on tap. Seasonals sell out quickly.
- Braumeister Bierhalle - The beer here really does deliver a taste of back home for me and their current Rheinwasser kolsch style is a great case for fine German brew.
- Beyond the Pale - Not only does BTP produce top-notch ales for all palates but they have a hearty BBQ menu that will satisfy your cravings.
- Overflow Brewing - Tucked away from the city noise, Overflow offers a welcome respite and you’ll be delighted by their new Lemon Hibiscus gose. Live concerts are also on the menu.
Over in Hull
Sometimes a change of scenery, even if it is just across the river, can make you feel as if you’ve escaped the routine of your day-to-day life. Here are a few very good patio addresses that are all within walking distance of each other in Old Hull.
City hall update
Little love for ‘strong mayor’ proposal: Several mayoral candidates, including Mark Sutcliffe and Catherine McKenney, have said they aren’t interested in stronger mayoral powers to veto council and unilaterally set the city’s budget. The new powers are being proposed by the province for Ottawa and Toronto, with legislation expected in the coming months. Candidate Bob Chiarelli said the new powers could be a tool for mayors to use in the event of a deadlock at council. [CTV]
- Dig deeper: I’ll get angry (or not) about Ford’s ‘strong mayor’ changes when I know what he’s talking about [TVO]
Why they’re running: The Ottawa Citizen has published short pieces from each of the three big candidates, so far, explaining why they want to be the city’s next mayor. Each candidate has given a rough outline of what they’d like to do as mayor. Here are some key takeaways, now that the opeds from the big three candidates have been published:
- Bob Chiarelli: The former mayor wants to straighten out the budget, and get the LRT system back in order. He said he also wants to end the acrimony at City Hall [Ottawa Citizen]
- Catherine McKenney: Wants to take serious action on climate change, get transit that works for people all through the city, and make it a place where small businesses can thrive and housing is available and affordable for everyone. [Ottawa Citizen]
- Mark Sutcliffe: Wants to bring fresh eyes to governing the city, get the budget under control, fix the problems with the LRT, make sure the police have resources, and keep taxes at a manageable level. [Ottawa Citizen]
Iris Street closure extended: Closed because of construction of the Stage 2 LRT extension, the closure of Iris will continue until at least Aug. 7. It had originally been planned to be reopened July 10, but unforeseen issues have delayed construction, OC Transpo said.
Stories you might've missed
Level Zero, 725 times: In the first half of the year, Ottawa paramedics ran out of crews to send on calls 725 times, nearly equaling the 750 for all of last year. It’s called a “Level Zero,” and there have been a significant number already in July, the service told CTV. Delays in handing patients over to emergency rooms are a major factor, as wait times in hospitals have increased. [CTV]
Nurse waits hours to get emergency surgery: A nurse visiting from Saskatchewan had to wait hours to get into the emergency room while he had what he suspected was a ruptured appendix. After seven hours of waiting to get into the ER, it was another 11 to see a doctor. After that, he had to wait another half day to get into surgery. The hospital said it has been dealing with staff shortages. [CTV]
LTCs still without AC: There are 90 long-term care homes in the province that are still without air conditioning for residents. Of those, 57 are for-profit homes, 25 are non-profit, and eight are run by municipalities. It’s now the law for LTCs to have air conditioning installed in all resident rooms. The province didn’t provide information to CBC where the homes were located. [CBC]
- The public outdoor pool in Winchester, east of the city, has had to close to public swims for two days because of a staffing shortage. [CTV]
- Ottawa has its own kosher brewery - meet Shillow Beer Co. in this review from our food editor.
- More small-town closures, as Merrickville will lose its only bank in January when the RBC will shut its doors. [CTV]
- Doctors from the Ottawa Hospital have opened a cancer clinic in Iqaluit to give locals care close to home. [CBC]
- Nothing cools quite like a craft soda, check out Ralf’s review of County Bounty and their fantastic variety of flavours.
Your weekend guide
Pints in the Park | July 23, 2 pm to 7 pm | Manor Park Community Centre, 100 Thornwood Rd. | Local craft beer, food, and live music. A fully accessible event for everyone across the city.
ART+ Summer Showcase | July 23, 4 pm to 7 pm | Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd. | $10 suggested donation | A showcase celebrating equity, diversity, inclusion, and pluralism in the arts, with an exciting roster of local artists including musicians, dancers, and painters.
613Flea | July 23, 10 am to 4 pm | Lansdowne Park | The city’s urban flea market returns with antiques, vintage clothing, handmade items, local food, and so much more.
Festibière | July 20 to 30 | Place des festivals Zibi | Tickets start at $24 | Gatineau’s big beer festival is back and promises to be the beer sensation of the season. (Find out more in a recent edition of the Insider!)
Chinatown Night Market | Somerset W, between Bronson and Bell | July 22, 2 pm to 11 pm; July 23, 11 am to 11 pm; July 24, 11 am to 8 pm | Local and out-of-town vendors come out for a night market in the city’s historic Chinatown. Dragonlion dances, music, dance, and more.
TURKUNIGHT | Knox Church, 120 Lisgar St. | July 23, 8 pm to 10 pm | $15 to $20 | The first performance in Ottawa by Turkish musician Ahmet Gul and a multicultural orchestra playing a diverse and comprehensive repertoire.
Kemptville Live Music Festival | July 21 to July 24 | $70 per day, $215 for a full pass | Tom Cochrane, Bachmann Cummings Together Again, Glass Tiger, Honeymoon Suite, and Johnny Reid are all playing the return of this music festival just outside the city.
Weekend Ottawa Wordle
The correct answer to yesterday’s OttawaGuesser was the experimental farm, and specifically the Cereal Building next to the Ornamental Gardens.
Congrats to Diane Parkin, Joanne, Caryn Brown, Diane Burrows, Jane McGann, Barb Shea, Laurent, Joël Morghese, Julie, Alyson, Ron Pelletier, Helen and Mary-Martha Hale who all guessed correctly.
We’re switching up the Wordle to the weekend so you have something fun to do as you wait for the workday to end! The quiz will now be on Mondays.
Here’s this week’s Ottawa Wordle. Hint: it’s a park!
Latest COVID stats
Note: Ottawa Public Health is now only updating COVID stats twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Because of the Lookout’s publishing schedule, this means the numbers here may be out of date. For the most recent stats, see the OPH COVID Dashboard.
- Active Cases: 1,032
- Total deaths: 832
- Ottawans In Hospital: 32
- Ottawans In ICU: 3
- Acute Beds Occupied: 93%
- ICU Beds Occupied: 70%
- ICU Ventilator Beds Occupied: 21%
Now that you’ve read this far, we have a small favour to ask…
(If you’re already a paying member, thank you for supporting us and you can ignore the rest of this message.)
Our team is crowdfunding to raise money to fund a new food publication, to review the best restaurants you’ve never heard of throughout Ottawa. But to fund the launch of this publication, we need 150 new readers to become paying members. We’re still 66 members short.
Not only will you support this new publication, but you’ll also get some awesome perks like:
- An ever-growing curated list of affordable, high-quality wine recommendations from Ralf
- Date night spots around the city
- Curated meal and food recommendations
- A map of the best restaurants in each neighbourhood
- Discounts for future member-only events
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